Employees with Criminal Records May Perform Better Than Those without Records

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Expungement

criminal recordFinding a job with a criminal record can be difficult. Many employers across the country require that applicants disclose if they have a criminal record, and often turn down qualified employees based on their past arrests and convictions. According to the National Employment Law Project, nearly one third of American adults today have some type of prior conviction or arrest, meaning there are millions of Americans struggling to find employment. Fortunately, it seems the expectation that those with a criminal record will be bad employees may not be true. A new study indicates that employees with criminal records are no more likely to perform poorly on the job than their counterparts without records, and in fact, those with a record may outperform those without.

A Record Does Not Indicate a Poor Employee

Researchers with Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted the study, which examined the nation’s largest employer - the United States military. The research shows that employers across the country who deny jobs to potential employees with criminal backgrounds may be losing out on quality staff. Research like this is largely unprecedented, as no evidence is available to assess the performance of past criminals in the workplace. The United States military, however, has actively pursued and hired those with felony backgrounds for years, making it a prime employer to study.

The research shows that ex-offenders were equally as likely to be kicked out of the military due to bad behavior as those without a record. Even more surprising is that enlistees with felony criminal records outperformed others at receiving promotions. The researchers noted that “contrary to what might be expected, we find that individuals with felony-level criminal backgrounds are promoted more quickly and to higher ranks than other enlistees.”

Could these results indicate other employers should be less quick to dismiss those with criminal records? The study does align with similar, less formal reports released in the past. For example, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, which has made an effort recently to hire those with criminal records, has found that ex-offenders have a lower turnover rate than non-offenders. A senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project says that in many cases those with records are “very mature workers who have gone through life experiences and had some negative experiences, and arrived at a point where they are dedicated to making things work. That means working hard, and developing loyalty and commitment to the employer.”

We Can Help

Finding a job can be a challenge for those with a criminal record. The study’s authors say that they hope their findings will influence employers to stop overlooking qualified applicants simply because of their criminal record, but for now, finding a job with a criminal record can be difficult. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, Attorney Garfinkel and his team help clients erase their criminal records through expungement. Do not leave your future in jeopardy. Call 312-629-0669 today to speak to an experienced Chicago area expungement attorney to learn more about how we can help.



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